Princess and The Rock

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Thursday, 19 December 2013

"If you are not curious, forget it!"

I had the great fortune to visit the Studio Museum Achille Castiglioni in Milan last week. It is as the name implies, the studio in which the famous designer, Achille Castiglioni, worked and is now also a museum of sort where his designs, sketches and sources of inspiration are archived and preserved.

Giovanna Castiglioni (Achille Castiglioni's daughter) hosted us during the one hour visit and in that short span of time I was truly awoken and inspired! One thing she said that hit right home was, "If you are not curious, forget it!"

This phrase, "Forget it!" is a no-no in our household; we consider using this phrase rude. But when I heard that I straightened up in my chair and felt that I really needed to pay close attention to what this woman was talking about. As she showed us one item after another that his father had designed, I was more and more intrigued by the humour and curiosity that Achille possessed. Many items were inspired by every day objects, like a hat shaped like a jelly mould and an ashtray inspired by slinky coil.
Achille Castiglioni
I thought what Achille possessed was not unlike the child-like imagination that children have, the kind of imagination that allows a child to turn cupboard boxes to castles and washing machines, to build a fort with blankets and bamboo poles, to save an "arkful" of stuffed toy animals in a "flood" and build a supermobile with stools, towels and a toy hammer as gear stick.

This child-like curiosity tend to fade as one grows with age, as the "need" for practicality sets in and many "non-productive" activities are considered time-wasters. I reflect on myself and the demands I have on my children and realise that I too have fallen into the trap of productivity. I have on occasions told Princess and The Rock to "stop wasting time" and get on with work but I failed to realised that this "wasting time" is their way of creativity and innovation. In their "wasting time", they created many worlds that were possible and super objects that far surpassed the regular ones we have.

So as an ending note I would like to show you my favourite part of the Studio Museum. It is a transparent red house that looks like this. (Photos were not allowed, so please click on the link and see the photos of the wonderful house.) I have seen many cupboard houses but one that is made of ribbon and life-sized like this is my first. I can just imagine the hours of role-play games that can go happen inside!

So, not to be rude but really, "If you are not curious, forget it!"

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